Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, has raised the hope of Muslims that want to perform the 2020 pilgrimage in Makkah and Madinah but are scared that coronavirus pandemic might push the Saudi Arabian authorities to cancel it.
A statement today, April 16 by the Commission’s spokesperson, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, quoted the chairman as telling Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), in an interview that he is optimistic that from what he is getting from the Saudi Ministry of Health, the Kingdom will hopefully witness a decline of coronavirus in the country from April 21st and possible its eradication by May 2020.
“This therefore gives the Commission hope that there is a tendency of the Hajj taking place if the Almighty wills it to take place. This explains why NAHCON has not stopped preparations towards 2020 Hajj.”
The Chairman said that he and senior management staff have been reporting to the office and deliberating on every development as a result of the pandemic.
Alhaji Zikrullahi Hassan encouraged intending pilgrims not to feel reluctant in making Hajj fare deposits as a situation may arise where number of pilgrims may be reduced as a strategy towards managing coronavirus pandemic.
“Should this happen, slots will be offered to intending pilgrims on first come first serve formula.”
The chairman therefore asked Muslims intending to participate in the 2020 pilgrimage to pray and imbibe all the necessary physical, mental and spiritual readiness towards performing the Hajj.
The NAHCON boss assured that all arrangements entered with Saudi Arabian service providers are legally backed and that the Commission does not anticipate any monetary losses on its side.
“Though a 5 percent commitment has been made from the Commission’s purse prior to Saudi Arabia’s directive to keep Hajj preparations on hold, however, this does not affect intending pilgrims nor their funds.”
He assured that pilgrims who made deposits will be fully repaid if Hajj 2020 is cancelled and if such depositors request for a refund.
“They may also choose to keep their deposits lodged with the Commission until the following year’s Hajj. Whichever option the intending pilgrims choose, the Commission is fully prepared.”